Bellroy raises US$8 million in first funding round
Australian leather goods brand Bellroy has accepted external funding for the first time, raising US$8 million through a funding round led by equity firm Silas Capital.
With the funding, the business seeks to further develop its global reach, extend into new product lines and evolve its market channels to ensure its products are where its customers are.
Bellroy also noted it had grown 30 per cent year on year prior to funding, and that it will continue to be guided by customer-centric philosophies, business practices, and design.
“We’ve been approached by great potential investors over the years, but it didn’t feel like the right time,” Bellroy co-founder and chief operations officer Lina Calabria said.
“At the end of 2018 we found ourselves with three new product categories all growing at 100 per cent per year – bags, work accessories and phone cases.
“We know what 100 per cent plus growth looked like with wallets, and with three times the opportunity in front of us, it felt like the right time to bring on value-aligned investment partners to help both fund and guide us on our journey.”
The brand has sold 2 million products since launch, earning US$150 million in revenue, and is currently stocked in over 1100 retail stockists in 50 countries.
Bellroy chief executive and founding designer Andy Fallshaw said that in order for the brand to have a sustainable competitive advantage, it had to put itself at the “centre of the carry world”.
“Most of the fashion world is stuck in a ‘push’ system – they guess at what customers will want, then push it onto retailers who push it onto consumers,” Fallshaw said.
“It’s a broken paradigm that results in excess inventory, rampant discounting and fluctuating fortunes.
“We believe there is a much better way – for customers, and for the environment.”
Bellroy was certified as a B Corp in 2015, recognised for limiting its impact on the environment, campaigning for the welfare of animals and supporting effective charities.